A Day In Chicago

I had to fuel for my hour and 20 minute train ride to Chicago, so I made an egg white, ham and sharp cheddar breakfast panini – I only took one picture because I was so excited to get to the train station, but it was delicious!

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I was taking the train in from the far NW suburbs of Chicago.  Hannah and her boyfriend were taking the orange “L” line in from Midway.  We timed it pretty well – I only had to wait for them about 5 minutes – not too bad!

We walked one block over to take the bus up to Lincoln Park for the Green City Market.  At our bus stop where we got off, there was a huge statue – I thought it looked cool the way the sky was behind it.

I have to admit, I am horrible when it comes to history.  This statue is of Robert Cavelier de La Salle who was an early French explorer and discoverer of much of the wilderness and river systems in the Midwest.  That’s your history lesson for the day.  I’ll quiz you on Friday. Open-mouthed smile

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Then we walked a couple blocks to where the Green City Market started.

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It was a sea of people!  Lots of dogs, lots of little kids, and um, lots of high end strollers!

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I am not kidding when I say I saw at least 10 mom’s with this stroller:


That would be the Bugaboo stroller – and it begins retail at $1,109!  In case you want one for yourself or loved one who needs a stroller, they can be bought at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Because doesn’t everyone do their baby shopping there?!  Gag me.  I think I had a used stroller for Hannah I bought at a garage sale for $10 bucks that I used for 2 years.  Open-mouthed smile

It was slightly cool, glad I brought a light sweater.  And I wore my pink White Sox hat so I wouldn’t burn my face in the sun.  Suck it Cubs fans. Winking smile

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Hannah got a rhubarb strawberry tart – the girl loves rhubarb and thought for a split second that $6 was a hefty price to pay, but in the end she said it was with it and yelled YOLO!!

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In case you are wondering YOLO is:

You Only Live Once!

That would become our motto for the day!  We each tried portabella mushrooms for the first time that had been marinated – YOLO – turns out we liked them even though we don’t like regular mushrooms!

I ended up buying some chiabata bread and some horseradish sharp cheddar cheese.  YOLO for bread and cheese! Open-mouthed smile

We walked over to the Lincoln Park zoo – there is a landing before you actually get to the Zoo – lots of ducks with signs that said “don’t feed the ducks!” but I am sure people did because they followed us around waiting for food.

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There were lots of summer camps at the zoo now that school is out – we probably only walked around for 15 minutes.  Saw some cows!

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Then we were hungry so it was back to the north loop to have lunch at Rick Bayless’s restaurant Xoco.   it’s literally right around the corner from his flagship restaurant Frontera Grill.

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Of course, being the foodie that I am, I already knew what I was going to get – The Cubana!

Cubana: Smoked Gunthorp pork loin and bacon, black beans, avocado, artisan Jack, chipotle mustard.

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It was amazing!  The sauce was amazing too – we also got a basket of chips and two salsas – I really need to try to make this green salsa.  It was amaze balls.

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Hannah, however, didn’t realize she ordered a soup – she ordered carinitas, but what she got was a “meal in a bowl” Slow-cooked Gunthorp pork carnitas, potato-masa dumplings, chayote, roasted serrano chile, greens, arugula, avocado.  I didn’t get a good picture of it at the restaurant, but here is what it looked like when I brought the leftovers home:

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This may not look like anything special, but the broth was one of the most delicious, spicy broths I’ve ever had.  The meat was super tender – it was really too spicy for Hannah so we ended up switching our meals – all good!

And then, because YOLO! We ordered the churros with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert.

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I may need a moment.  Wow.  So light, delicate, not too much sugar or cinnamon and that chocolate dipping sauce?  Yep, that was dark chocolate – hands down the best churro I’ve ever had.

It was a great day!  We walked a lot, talked a lot, ate a lot.  YOLO!

Here is a sign we stumbled upon, I looked it up to find out who “Michael” is but so far haven’t figured it out.  But thought it was a great picture to end this post.

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Remember, YOLO!  Make it a great day! Open-mouthed smile


27 thoughts on “A Day In Chicago

  1. Yum! What a great day of eats! CHIPS AND SALSA! Craving Mexican like whoa. Amazeballs is like my favorite saying. Glad you had fun

  2. And they weren’t even celebrity’s babies?! That is ridiculous to pay that much for a stroller. I’ve got a used Graco in my basement if anyone wants it. My mission this summer is to get rid of all the baby items in my basement.

    I will be borrowing YOLO and using it all day today!! Love it. Thanks Hannah. Those churros look heavenly. Have an awesome day Biz.

  3. What a fun day! And you’re right–YOLO!

  4. YOLO, I could bath in that chocolate dipping sauce. So f’in good! Glad you had a great day.

  5. YOLO! I love that. What a great day you two had together making some memories. I am completely and totally jealous about your Rick Bayless restaurant visit. It’s on my bucket list 😉

  6. myjourneytofit

    That stroller is incredible. Wonder what the moms do when the baby spills milk on it, or mashes up Goldfish into the fabric?

    Glad you had such a fun day with Hannah!

  7. Great post Biz! Sounds like a fun day! YOLO! Love it!

  8. That is ridiculous to pay that for a stroller, seriously wow!! Looks like you and Hannah had a great time. Both of those salsas look awesome, love me some chips and salsa! I hope you do make the green one, I’d love to see/make your recipe. I know you like heat and so do I 🙂

  9. Lincoln Park Zoo is right near where my sister lives!! It’s fun in December when it’s all decorated with lights for Christmas!

  10. Soon after I moved here, we lost our JCPenney store, and they replaced it with a Saks. I haven’t been in there (it’s been there for probably a decade), but now I will DEFINITELY have to go and get myself one of those fancy strollers.

    Ha! My first stroller was a hand me down. The second one was a jogger that I got for my birthday. This last one I bought because it was the cheapest way to get an infant carseat – $100 for the carseat + stroller. I’ll sell it in 6 months when the baby grows out of it.

  11. What a fun day. Maybe I should get my new DIL and son that stroller for the new baby – NOT! I think I used the Umbroller (stroller that folded up like an umbrella) for all 4 of my kids. I might have gotten a new one after the first one wore out. I probably spent $20 on it.

  12. Looks like a great day. And YOLO is a keeper. Added it to my personal lexicon!

  13. I end up laughing out loud while reading every single one of your blog posts, hahaha Biz you’re great. That stroller is ridiculous. Im the baby of 5 kids, and I doubt I had a stroller. Mom just expected me to latch onto one of the older kids.. i was forced to grow up pretty fast haha.
    Glad you and Hannah had a great trip! Not to mention great eats.. everything looks delicious, even your breakfast sandwich!

  14. Lovin’ the YOLO, I’m totally going to rip that off 🙂

    I could have missed it but have you done a panini post? I have a maker but think there is an art to it and yours looks so perfect! I’d love to know how to get that right.

    • Ha – thanks Stacie – mine is a Giada DiLorentis one that I bought at a garage sale for $10 (they sell at Target for $50). It has two settings, high and low. The first couple minutes I have it on low so the cheese melts on the inside, then turn to high for the last minute or two. 😀

  15. melissalikestoeat

    I suck at history too. 🙂 YOLO is like my “Treat Yo Self”. 🙂 Love it! I love Chicago. It’s such a fabulous city!

  16. Love the food photos in this post, and OMG! What a cute cow! I grew up on a farm but parents would never let me have cows… lol. I still want one even though where I live now it not zoned for livestock.

    Glad I’m not the only one bad at history!

  17. Looks like my kind of day, filled with delicious food! Both of your food at Xoco looked awesome, pork carnitas is one of my favorites, so trying that variation of it would be awesome. Now I am really hungry for dinner 🙂

  18. The first time I saw someone posting “YOLO” on fb, I was like wtf does that mean…my husband then explained to me The Motto(YOLO) by Drake and it all made sense. haha

    By the way that is just ridiculous for a stroller, my kids will never get pushed around in one of those!

  19. I ❤ YOLO!!! And I ❤ virtually hanging with Hannah. 🙂

  20. What a great day with your daughter! Love all the YOLO! partakings–everything looks so delish. Precious moments.

  21. Sounds like you guys should do this at least two or three times a week. Much better than just going to work every day.

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